Women’s Euro 2022: France finally breaks the Dutch defense to end the curse of the quarter-finals

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Eve Perisset’s 102nd-minute penalty was enough to finally break through Dutch keeper Daphne van Domselaar and end a run of three consecutive Euro quarter-final outings.

Van Domselaar led a stubborn display from the Dutch who, defending the title they won on home soil five years ago, were edged 33-9 by a dominating French side.

Only receiving her second international cap in the tournament opener when starting goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal suffered the injury just 30 minutes into the game, the 22-year-old made ten saves in a virtuoso performance between the sticks.

Hailing the performance as “world class”, Dutch coach Mark Parsons felt it was the best goalkeeping performance he had seen since Germany’s Nadine Angerer saved two penalties to help his team to win the 2013 final.

“Tournament goalie, there’s not even anyone near her,” Parsons told reporters.

Van Domselaar makes another save to frustrate the French.
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“We are here to make history”

And the few times Van Domselaar was beaten, the Dutch defenders threw their bodies over the line. Stefanie van der Gragt provided the choice of blocks, fending off Melvine Malard’s close-range strike with her knees inches from goal.

Yet the resistance was finally broken in the first half of extra time when Kadidiatou Diani knocked Dominique Janssen into the box. The game was first announced by referee Ivana Martincic, but a penalty was awarded after a check by the video assistant referee.

Van Domselaar got his hands on Perisset’s spot-kick but couldn’t deny a well-hit effort from the defender, who signed for Chelsea in June.

Perisset takes his penalty.

The French closed their lead to secure their ticket to the semi-finals and a clash with Germany in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, sparking jubilant scenes of joy among the players and coach Corinne Deacon.

“I’m very proud because this team was aiming for a big goal. This team gives absolutely everything,” Deacon told reporters. “I like that the players gave their all and kept playing. They stuck to our game plan.

“We would have liked to score earlier but we were up against an incredible Dutch goalkeeper. In terms of our physical condition, the teams gave a lot of answers tonight, defensively too.

“We have been rewarded for our efforts. We are here to build history – the players and staff want to write history for ourselves and there is still a long way to go,” she added .

Perisset (3L) celebrates her goal with her teammates.

“There is no longer a single player with anything in the tank”

In Germany, the French face a team that won six consecutive European titles between 1995 and 2013. The eight-time champions sealed their place in another semi-final with a 2-0 victory over Austria, but for France, these are uncharted waters. after a harrowing series of early exits.

Match winner Perisset said: “We are very happy because we have always stumbled in the quarter-finals before.

“Tonight, we managed to pass this stage. We had a very good performance. We are very happy and now we can savor this qualification for the semi-finals.”

By contrast, these were images of exhaustion and despair for the Dutch players, many of whom collapsed to the ground at the full-time whistle.

The return of prolific star striker Vivianne Miedema from Covid-19 looked set to boost the defending champions, but the Arsenal striker appeared isolated throughout as the Dutch were forced to fend off wave after wave of French attacks .

“It was a tough game for her, she had nothing left at the end,” Parsons said of Miedema.

France striker Kadidiatou Diani vies with the Netherlands' defender Stefanie van der Gragt.

There is no longer a player with anything in the tank, in his body. They gave their all. The first half was hanging by a thread.

“When we were better in attack and creating chances, they were able to break. But our heroic defense was very, very impressive almost every moment of the game. Everyone pulled together.”

Women's Euro 2022: Sweden triumph over Belgium 1-0 with a feverish winner in added time
Either France or Germany will face the winner of host England’s semi-final against Sweden in Sheffield on Tuesday.

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